Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2004 Darwin Awards

Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.

Hold That Bus!
2004 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(2 November 2004, Portland, Oregon) Dianne, a 56-year-old bus driver with 22 years of experience, pulled into the Sunset Transit Center shortly before noon. She was running six minutes late, and was eager to use the bathroom.

After waiting impatiently for her passengers to disembark, Dianne hurried off the bus, leaving the engine in gear and running, with no parking brake engaged. She walked around the front of the bus and reached in the driver's window to pull the lever that closed the door.

The bus is equipped with automatic brakes that keep it from moving as long as the doors are open. Once the doors shut, the brakes release after a one-and-a-half-second delay.

As Dianne passed in front of the bus on her way to the toilet, she suddenly found the 15-ton bus creeping slowly towards her. She could have jumped out of the way. In fact, she could have ambled out of the way. Instead, witnesses watched her push against the bus with her arms outstretched, in an effort to stop it.

The mass of a bus is more than 200 times the mass of an adult woman. You do the math. The bus did indeed stop, eventually, due to circumstances other than Dianne's efforts.

Paramedics arrived within minutes, to find Dianne dead beneath the bus.

An investigation blamed the accident on "operator error."

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Submitted by: Roger Lindsley
Reference: KGW Radio, The Oregonian

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